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By Resolver Posted December 6, 2021
According to FBI crime statistics, someone in the United States experiences a burglary approximately every 12 seconds, totaling over $3.4 billion in property and personal losses annually. From IP or product theft to information breaches and technological risks, your enterprise is under constant physical and digital threat from deviants.
Clearly, protecting your company from threats is more vital than ever, and thankfully, more straightforward too.
Through developing and implementing corporate security policies, or defined rules that establish how information objects should be treated, you can better protect your systems and information. These policies also keep employees and your larger organization safer by prominently—and publicly—publishing your commitment to security.
If your company lacks a solid corporate security policy, knowing the most crucial corporate security policies, and how to make your own, can turn an internal vulnerability into a public strength.
With increased threats affecting businesses across the private sector, corporate security policies ensure your sensitive data is protected and properly used to the best of your ability. A thorough approach requires many layers of security, cutting-edge technology, and continuous maintenance to stay full-strength.
Here are five security aspects, encompassing both high (company-wide) and low (individual employee) corporate levels, which should be included in the corporate security policy you build.
Arguably the most common source of digital compromise stems from user error and poor monitoring. Old or inactive employee accounts can easily and unintentionally share digital assets and open your enterprise up to risk. If disgruntled staff or old team members still have access to your secure data, you risk data breaches and other, more serious consequences.
Account Monitoring Compliance and Control policies encourage regular and thorough audits of your data in compliance with your security policy. These audits should make sure existing team members aren’t unintentionally violating account compliance, should keep illegal users from accessing your data, and maintain a current account of registered users. Consider designating internal technical experts to monitor existing accounts, create new ones, and terminate inactive ones as needed to prevent illegal or unmonitored activity.
An Acceptable Use Policy demonstrates your commitment to the security of your IT network and sensitive data, especially during a breach or audit. In addition to setting clear boundaries of acceptable use for employees, it also protects your enterprise against legal implications during these times.
Clarification of acceptable use should happen upon hiring: many companies have new employees acknowledge and sign this policy with other hiring paperwork. This way, acceptable use is undeniably clear for all team members, and you have grounds to pursue corrective action if a violation occurs.
Having an Incident Reporting Policy helps create a corporate culture of open communication where employees can help keep your enterprise a safe and healthy workplace. Outlining how to tell your enterprise about a range of negative experiences like personal injury or damaged property, incident reporting can also alert you to a scenario that could potentially become dangerous. Good reporting has several benefits, including serious injury prevention, leading to health and safety improvements, and saving time and resources. In addition, you keep your team and your company safer by providing straightforward ways to make these reports, whether through an online portal, in-person to HR, or a company form.
An Incident Response Policy works hand-in-hand with your reporting policy and helps to quickly identify areas vulnerable to potential breaches to minimize damage. A good incident response policy helps restore security as quickly as possible. IBM reports that if a breach occurs without an Incident Response Policy in place, your company is likely to spend $1.2 million more on damage control than counterparts with breach preparations.
Your Incident Response Policy should include how to evaluate and report incidents of a breach, problem-solving pathways to minimize the resulting damage, and proactive action steps to mitigate future risk. With these steps in place, not only do you have a reliable action plan in the event of a breach, but with each situation, you gain more experience to help address the next breach with increased effectiveness, hopefully eliminating them altogether down the road.
Unlike incident reporting, a Whistleblower Policy outlines how misconduct (like harassment, illegal activities, or corruption) should be shared. At times, it also helps to protect the reporting individual from repercussions. Whistleblowing can happen organizational level or publicly. Each company handles whistleblowing differently: it’s important to explore potential options and find your best fit. Whether you choose to set up an anonymous hotline, an online social channel, or even a police reporting line, setting up avenues for whistleblowing helps keep your company and employees safer by giving them a clear reporting path without fear.
A documented corporate security policy is the foundation of how your enterprise approaches security. A living component, your corporate security policy should reflect your corporate culture and evolve in harmony with your business practices. Prioritizing this growth takes planning and development to ensure your policy provides maximum value, both to your company’s security and your team. As you outline your corporate security policy, consider these steps to help keep you on track.
Identifying your areas of risk is simpler with effective monitoring or reporting tools, but you can also learn from past breaches and mistakes. Consider what efforts or oversights led to costly mistakes and the red flags led to them so they can be guarded in the future.
It’s also important to make sure employees are intentional about protecting your data and are aware their activity is monitored in order to minimize risk (if this is a choice you make). Without this knowledge, data tracking can be an invasion of privacy, one reason legal compliance and transparency are invaluable as you establish your policy.
Your Corporate Security Policy is the public guide referenced to prevent breaches in the event of (and in anticipation of future) breaches. Writing your security policy makes compliance easier for everyone: written protocols provide an explicit point of reference that can be accessed anytime, by anyone, leaving no room for confusion or deviance and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Once your policy is established in writing, all employees should be trained on how to follow the policy, report violations, and protect your data and should sign a compliance agreement upon completion. When there’s one weak link in a chain, it breaks. Without training, there’s no way to guarantee every employee will act in agreement to protect your data.
Despite training and best intentions, human imperfections inevitably lead to error. When a breach or non-compliant action occurs—even accidentally—corrective action should be taken. This communicates consistency and follow-through to both employees and the public that you really do enforce your policies and take data protection seriously. It also offers your team the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes and prevent future breaches.
Even with a near-impenetrable corporate security policy in place, it’s impossible to eliminate risk. However, adding additional safeguards—like an experienced and reliable risk solutions partner—to watch your blind spots and provide additional support strengthens your arsenal.
At Resolver, our sophisticated, easy-to-use solutions are designed to help your growing enterprise reach new heights. Whether you need improved corporate security, best-in-class risk and compliance, or experienced IT management, Resolver’s technology and data-driven reporting help you drive your business forward. Contact us today to request your demo and see how our solutions can work for you.